In discussing Christmas trees in the comments section here last week, different collection processes were mentioned. I didn’t know of Utrecht doing anything specific, but now it turns out that Utrecht is part of a pilot program to process discarded Christmas trees into green energy. During the first two weeks of January, the trees will be picked up and processed separately, and then sorted and shredded and so on, with parts of the trees becoming biofuel and the rest becoming compost.
It seems that Christmas trees are usually difficult to compost, since their wood is hard and takes too long to break down. Many of them end up in the incinerator, which then produces CO2. With this new process, they can be broken down and used more effectively, with the ultimate result of producing more electricity than they use.
You can read more about it in an article here (in Dutch).
If you’ve got some free time today and are in/near Utrecht, it’s worth stopping by the Domplein to check out the We Beat the Mountain Day of Recycling. I stopped by earlier today when things were just getting started. The basic idea is to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and how you can both recycle, as well as upcycle. There’s music, fashion shows, markets (with some very cool re/upcycled items) and a group of artists trying to create the largest piece of art made of recycled materials/trash. They’ll be attempting to break (or set?) a Guiness World Record with the art made from trash. The event goes on until around 11 tonight, so there’s still time to check it out if you’re nearby. If not, here are a few photos I took.
No, the dog was not being recycled. 😉
Recycling here isn’t quite as easy as it was in the US, oddly enough. There’s no curbside pickup like I was used to, and to recycle plastic, we’ve got to go further than the paper and glass recycling stop that’s on the next street over. Fortunately, there’s a plastic recycle bin over by Lepelenburg Park, which means a lovely walk along the canal.
Coming back from dropping off the recycling today, I could see the wake of a boat approaching, but couldn’t see the boat behind the tree trunks. G saw me looking and started telling me about a boat he sees sometimes that has a dog accompanying the owner. Sure enough, it was them! Perfect timing!
The dog sits there quite calmly as the boat pushes the large storage hold in front of it. G said sometimes he’s seen the dog on the roof of the little cabin on the boat, but he’s always calm and seems to enjoy his life at sea, er, on the canal. He’s a lovely dog, but then I might be biased, since he’s somewhat similar in build to our dog. Regardless, it was a wonderful sight to see on a beautiful, if chilly, day.